Category Archives: What’s New

Return of Santa Paws

2015 santa pawsOn Saturday, December 12, Santa Paws once again visited our park.  He posed for pictures with our dogs and gave a biscuit and a tennis ball to each good pup.  Hot cocoa, cookies, and doughnuts were available for the humans, and a good time was had by all.  Most important of all, the event raised well over $500 for the Pennsylvania S.P.C.A.  Thanks to all who participated for your enthusiasm and generosity!

P.S. you will be glad to know that Santa Paws got a well-earned vacation and is now believed to be cruising the Caribbean.  THANKS  SANTA PAWS for appearing at WMC Park!

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Parking at the Park–Issues and News

canstockphoto22387903As you may know, some of our members were recently ticketed, either for parking on the grass or for being in the park after sunset.  We contacted the police department to better understand their concerns and enforcement guidelines.  We had a very pleasant and productive discussion.  Basically, the bottom line is:

Under existing township ordinances, for public safety reasons, the park is open from sunrise to sunset only, so as soon as it begins to get dark you should finish up your conversations and leave the park.  However, the police will use discretion, and give us a little leeway on getting out of the park.  They agreed to void the parking tickets issued between 5 and 5:15 pm for being in the park after sunset (even though technically they were proper under the applicable ordinance) for this reason.

Also, it is illegal to park on the grass and at the side of Mill Creek Road.

  • Parking on the grass will eventually degrade and ruin the attractive green space which the park provides. In addition, there are environmental issues relating to toxic fluids that drip out of cars while parked, especially because of our location next to Mill Creek.
  • Parking on Mill Creek Road is dangerous, both to the cars and drivers parked there and to people leaving the parking lot. Cars parked there block the view of oncoming traffic.

We fully understand that people are only parking on the grass and Mill Creek Road because the parking lot is full.  We will work on scheduling meetings with the Parks Department to see if there is any way to relieve the parking congestion.  Meanwhile, please park only in the actual parking lot—and always park reasonably close to cars that are already parked so as to save space for others.

Summer/Fall Workdays Report

Karen waters, with Rocket looking on

Karen waters, with Rocket looking on

Our hardy garden volunteers worked hard to keep the garden going in a drought-filled summer and fall season.  We had a great watering team that sprang into action every time Mother Nature fell down on the job, and the fact that almost every one of our 5 trees, 48 shrubs, and 650 newly planted perennials not only lived but flourished shows the success of their efforts.  Thank you Watermeister Mark Wassmansdorf, and team Chris Bushnell, Michelle Detwiler, Bobby Harmelin, Karen Hinckley, Toba Spector, and Ellen Briggs.  

Ellen Reese weeds

Also thanks to our planters and weeders who came out for our three late summer and fall work days and donated a total of 31 hours of work, not to mention their expertise and good humor:  Paula Burns, Celeste DeBeese, Michelle Detwiler, Mary Field, Meredith Greenbaum, Karen Hinckley, Martha Lombardo, Ellen Reese, Ellen Briggs, Peter Briggs, and Stephen Briggs.

Mary Field, Ellen Briggs and Peter Briggs with garden tools

Mary Field, Ellen Briggs and Peter Briggs with garden tools

Active Member Thank-You Party

Friend of West Mill Creek Park party  Friends of West Mill Creek park 5

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November 2015 Active Members Thank You Party

November 2015 Active Members Thank You Party

friends of west mill creek park

On November 15, we celebrated our 2015 Active Members (all those people who donated time, talent, or financial support to Friends of WMC Park, during the current year).  It was a fun time, especially because we all got to meet the significant others of many of our regulars.  Thanks everyone for coming!!  P.S. We made every effort to invite every Active Member — we did have to straighten out a couple of record keeping mistakes, so for future reference, always remember to speak up if need be.

Great Day on the Bridlewild Trail

Our Bridlewild Guide, Nysa (far right) and our Friends of WMC hikers

Our Bridlewild Guide, Nysa (far right) and our Friends of WMC hikers

We had a gorgeous day for our hike on the Bridlewild Trail, which took place Sunday, October 11.  Leaving from the Beth David parking lot, we hiked the trail to Rolling Hill.  Elaine and Max, two of our hikers, stayed at the corral while the rest of us hiked down to the creek.  Nysa gave us some fascinating history of the mills and other uses of the old mill buildings (including use as a recording studio used by Bruce Springsteen and other celebrities).  And the dogs had a marvellous time, needless to say.  Thanks Nysa for a great day!

Dog Days 2015

Thanks to all who came out and supported us at our Dog Days of Summer Fundraiser.  We raised about $400 (our Treasurer will do an exact count soon) — but even better, we signed up a dozen new members!  We extend a warm welcome to all our most recent members.  A few pictures from the event:  P100011908 14 15_1766 P100012208 14 15_1762 P1000112 P1000129 P100012808 14 15_1759 P100011308 14 15_1768 P1000114 P100012608 14 15_1755 P100011808 14 15_1760

May/June 2015 Planting Blitz

Garden workday volunteers--L to R Wendy White, Martha Lombardo, Linda Pitt, Rocket, Paula Burns, Karen Hinckley with Rocket and Lizzie

Garden workday volunteers–L to R Wendy White, Martha Lombardo, Linda Pitt, Paula Burns, Karen Hinckley with Rocket and Lizzie

A hearty thank you to all the great garden volunteers who participated in our perennial planting blitz.   During our five work days, we planted 620 (yes, six hundred and twenty!) plants and did a bit of weeding besides.  Thirteen planting volunteers–Paula Burns, Michelle Detwiler, Mary Field, Joseph Garrity, Karen Hinckley, Martha Lombardo, Hazel Murphy, Melissa O’Connor,  Linda Pitt, Ellen Reese, Toba Spector,  Wendy White, and Ellen Briggs–donated a total of 48.5 hours to accomplish this feat.

L to R, Michelle Detwiler, Ellen Briggs, Ellen Reese and Melissa O'Connor pause for photo op in May 2015 marathon planting of 450 Blue Wood Sedge.

L to R, Michelle Detwiler, Ellen Briggs, Ellen Reese and Melissa O’Connor pause for photo op in May 2015 marathon planting of 450 Blue Wood Sedge.

Chris Bushnell with newly installed garden sign

Chris Bushnell with newly installed garden sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, Chris Bushnell once again donated his woodworking talents to  frame and install our beautiful Wildlife and Respite Garden sign, which was designed by Ellen Reese and Gary Stein.  Gary  also fixed the gate hardware for us so it is now a pleasure to open and shut those gates.

 

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Meet the Trees

One of our Appalachian Spring dogwoods in bloom.

One of our Appalachian Spring dogwoods in bloom.

In February of 2014, at our first annual meeting, we announced our plan to create a wildlife garden in the park and offered the chance to dedicate a tree in honor or memory of a person or dog to the first 5 people to donate $150 to the project.  The trees were planted in the fall, made it through a tough winter, and received their dedication plaques at our Meet the Trees event on Friday, June 5.   Member Helene Feinberg Walker provided delicious treats for both person and dog guests and everyone had a great time.

Lee and Tessa enjoy refreshments at our Meet the Trees event

Lee and Tessa enjoy refreshments at our Meet the Trees event

 

 

 

 

P1000057For those who couldn’t be there, we missed you!  Do drop by the wildlife garden and take a look at the 5 trees and their tags:

One of our two Appalachian Spring dogwoods was donated by Hazel Murphy in memory of her sister Avis and her husband Tony; the other was donated by Jon and Janine Weller in honor of their dog Lucy.

Helene, Kent, and Abby in front of a Winter King Hawthorn dedicated to the memory of Cybil and Max, Poodle Girls

Helene, Kent, and Abby in front of a Winter King Hawthorn dedicated to the memory of Cybil and Max, Poodle Girls

Our three Winter King hawthorns were donated by Karen Garbeil in honor of Junior (who needs no introduction);  by Helene Feinberg Walker in memory of Cybil and Max, Poodle Girls; and by Jay and Marya Margolis in memory of Dollie the Collie.

True to the wildlife mission of our garden, the  flowers of both  varieties of trees are especially beneficial to endangered pollinators, and their fruits provide food for over 35 bird species.P1000062P1000061

New Bench in Memoriam Debby Merker

Bench donated by dog park friends of  Debby Merker in her memory

e Bench donated by dog park friends of Debby Merker in her memory

Many of you will have noticed that we have a new bench in the park.  It’s been getting a lot of use, so it seems to be a welcome addition.  The bench was donated by a group of Debby Merker’s friends in her memory, and it was expertly assembled by member Joseph Garrity and his brother Patrick.  Debby, with her two yellow Labradors Betsy and Oakley, were beloved park regulars.  Debby’s kindness and generosity were legendary, and she is greatly missed,

The people listed below made donations for the bench.  Excess funds over the cost of the bench will be donated to Main Line Animal Rescue, Debby’s preferred rescue organization where she got Betsy and Oakley.

Bench Donors

Dorthe Andersen, Janice Asher,  Judy Argon, Steve Axelrod, Ellen Briggs, Jill Cooper, Lee Dante, Tom Donohue, Karen Garbeil,  Robin Garrett, Bobby Harmelin, Karen Hinckley, Sarah Johnston, Tessa Lamont Siegel, Jay and Marya Margolis, Linda McConnell, Karl Middleman, Lynn O’Connor, Bob Plotnick, Ellen Reese, Elaine Stern, John Tobias and Rebecca Wells, Helene Feinberg Walker, Kate Williams

Survey Results Are In!

survey clip artThanks to the 23 Friends of WMC members who responded to our survey.  The survey asked our members to rate the importance of various possible and current projects on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most important.  The survey also solicited any and all additional ideas and comments.  We averaged the ranking numbers for each project, and the results are:

  • Number one on the charts is trail improvement, which earned a solid “5” on our scale.
  • Tied for next in importance to our members were the Wildlife and Respite Garden, and improvements to the parking lot. These projects each earned an average of  “4” from our survey respondents.
  • Additional benches and beach seating stones each received a “3” ranking.

Comments and ideas included on the survey forms were as follows:

  • “More and better walking paths”
  • “Additional trash cans at far end of park or by water”
  • “Fill in and grade mud areas along stream”
  • “Would absolutely prefer more beach stones instead of the white plastic chairs. The wooden walking path at upper end was very well done and very helpful.”
  • “Dog activity equipment?”
  • “Improve drainage so there is less ponding.”
  • “ Improve fence by road to right when you’re facing the respite area. Dogs sometimes get out where the stone wall is low.”
  • “Keep dogs on leash in garden part, shrubs won’t grow with pee. Fabulous job, tremendous achievement of people coming together.”
  • “Dog parties!”
  • “Encourage natural brush/plant growth.”
  • “ Resurface parking lot.”
  • “Daffodils and iris along the creek would be nice. Thanks to the Ellens and others for their leadership and energy.”
  • “Fencing off park entry so dogs don’t wander onto parking lot on their own and unattended. Thanks for all your efforts to improve our habitat!”
  • “Mud remediation!”
  • “I sincerely appreciate all the hard work, time and effort dedicated to this organization. The park looks so much better and the garden is a work of love from so many people”